Project “Young people – the new promoters of the cultural identity of the cross-border region” (YCP) is a 15-month initiative of Association Tourist Union – Strumica (North Macedonia) and Business Information and Consulting Center of Sandanski, Bulgaria funded through the Interreg - IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme between Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
The project was developed to support the promotion and valorisation of the common cultural heritage of both countries. The cross-border region of Bulgaria and North Macedonia is renowned for its unique cultural and historical assets (i.e. churches and monasteries, festivals, carnivals, crafts, authentic ethnic-ambiences, diverse and preserved traditions and local folklore). These assets provide excellent opportunities for sustainable development of different forms of tourism and could play an essential role in the promotion of the current tourism offer of the region. From another perspective, it is particularly important to involve young people in the process of preservation and promotion of the common cultural heritage of the region because they represent the natural multipliers of cultural traditions. The direct involvement of young people with their enthusiasm and creativity in promoting the cultural heritage of the cross-border area will ensure the sustainability of this process.
In this aspect, one of the main objectives of the project is to mobilise and support young people to actively participate and promote the common and unique cultural heritage of the cross-border region of Bulgaria and North Macedonia. As part of the rich and diverse work programme of the project, a series of networking and training camps will be organised in Bulgaria and North Macedonia with the aim to improve the networking, marketing and technical skills of young people to develop concrete projects/ideas for promoting the cultural identity of the common cross-border region or their communities in particular.
At the closing stages of project implementation, a large public event will be organised where the best Youth Cultural Promoters will present their innovative ideas and projects for the promotion of the unique cultural heritage of the common cross-border region of both countries.
The project has an ambitious work programme that contains the following activities:
- Project management and coordination.
- Information and publicity campaign - to promote the project, the activities, events and the European funding source among the main target groups of the projects, stakeholders and the population of the target cross-border region in Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
- Cross-border competition Sh@re the Cultural Heritage of Your Region
- Youth Cultural Promoters Camps (Level 1) in North Macedonia and Bulgaria.
- A joint cultural calendar of the cultural events in the cross-border region of Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
- Development of innovative online software for organization and promotion of cultural events.
- Design, development, technical maintenance and update of a web-portal and social media of the project.
- Production and promotion of short video clips of cultural / youth organizations of the CB region.
- Youth Cultural Promoters Camp (Level 2) in North Macedonia.
- Discussion Forum in Strumitsa.
- Final Conference in Bulgaria.
- Establishment of YouthCulturalPromoters Network Bulgaria – North Macedonia.
The following results and benefits will be achieved through the project proposal:
- Improved awareness of stakeholders on the common cultural heritage, cultural events and organizations of the cross-border region of both countries.
- Fostered the joint promotion and valorization of the common unique cultural heritage of the cross-border region of both countries.
- Promoted cooperation among the regional actors in the field of cultural tourism.
- Developed innovative tools, activities and projects for promotion and valorization of the common cultural heritage and cultural operators of the cross-border region.
- Promoted the inclusion and participation of young people in the process of promotion and valorization of the common cultural heritage of the cross-border region.
- Fostered and improved the innovative and creative thinking, networking and modern skills of young people of the cross-border region.
- Established a sustainable network for promotion, cooperation and valorization of the common cultural heritage of the cross-border region.
The following results and benefits will be achieved through the project:
- Cultural and youth organisations of the target cross-border region of both Bulgaria and North Macedonia;
- Local authorities of the region, i.e. municipalities, regional authorities, etc.;
- NGOs active in the field of culture, tourism and regional development of the border region of both countries;
- Young people aged 16-29 years with interests in the field of culture, local traditions and crafts;
- Secondary schools and other educational institutions.